Purpose: The available research work on types of treatment and the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy in older Korean patients is insufficient. Henceforth, this report assessed treatment patterns and the relationship between chemotherapy and survival in elderly Korean breast cancer patients. Methods: We identified women over 55 years of age diagnosed with breast cancer from the period 1995 to 2006. Clinicopathologic features and treatment methods were compared for three groups divided on the basis of age: 55 to 59 years, 60 to 69 years, and over 70 years old. The effects of chemotherapy on survival were compared overall and individually for each group. Results: A total of 832 patients over 55 years of age were included in the present investigation. No statistical differences were observed between the three age groups in clinicopathologic features including tumor size, grade, and stage. However, patients in the elderly group received mastectomy more often when compared to the younger groups (p<0.001). In contrast, there was a decline in radiation treatment and chemotherapy with older age (p<0.001). Overall, patients who received chemotherapy had a significantly increased breast cancer specific survival and overall survival rate when compared to the non-chemotherapy groups (p=0.022). Among the estrogen receptor positive group, no statistical significance was achieved in the survival benefit of chemotherapy. However, in estrogen receptor-negative patients, overall, the chemotherapy groups showed a better survival rate than the non-chemotherapy patients and a similar trend was observed in each age group except in the group comprising of 70 years old patients. Conclusion: This study describes the survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in Korean patients over 55 years of age, especially in hormone receptor-negative patients. Hence, based on the results of the present report and considering the similarity of clinicopathologic features between age groups, it is proposed that age alone should not be a determinant factor of treatment methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research